North Dakota COVID case data is not looking good so far this school year. Amid all the discussion about mask policy we are missing the very real situation that this is a group without access to vaccine at all right now. As you might expect, with inconsistent human response to biological fact we see predictable, problematic results.
August 2021 was 389 higher than August 2020. We are only at September 13 (for this data release, and I guess the post) and September 2021 is already 220 ahead of September 2020. That end point for the 2021 line is only going to continue to go up at this point.
Some callers on the radio suggested we are simply seeing natural seasonality in the data to which I respond: 1) True but then we are clearly ahead of pace from last year, and 2) human decisions such as sending children to school are increasing exposures beyond what they were last year. There is a third issue too. Seasonal disease patterns encounter human response, such as annual flu shots in anticipation of flue season. We do not have that yet, particularly for this age group, and the available responses, such as masking and distancing, became intensely political.
So here it is 13 September and I am already looking to October, hopeful there will be a reduction from this pattern and return to the levels of last year (or better).